House in Douro Valley
Logoexisto by Paz da Costa | Arquitetura + Interiores
Joaquim Fernandes, arq.
Sandra Costa, d.er
Sandra Costa, d.er
Marco Paz, Joaquim Fernandes, Helena Peixoto
Vila Nova De Gaia, Portugal
Text description provided by architect.
On a first approach to the site, its features seemed very familiar, formed by “socalcos” a kind of staggered landscape traditional to the Portuguese region of Douro vineyards, whose schist walls sharply graze the scenery. It didn’t exactly invite construction...
At times we get the feeling that some places would be silent and balanced if we were not to intervene. Others find their meaning in the intervention itself, and we begin to consider them as picture frames for an atmosphere, a scenery, a view.
It is between these two worlds that, we believe, architects should operate - to know how to complement or complete what God has left undone or unresolved.
This interpretation evokes the poetics and importance of place and placemaking through continuity and tradition but also through evolution.
There is no tradition without evolution, nor evolution without tradition. This perception brings us back to the idea that landscape is valuable and to be respected and safeguarded.
We are interested in this interstice between complement and complete.
Aiming towards contradicting what is evident – that a leopard can’t change its spots ... but at the same time, to plot an eloquent irony.
We realized that this place invited the use of a new wall to relate and dialogue with the other schist walls that already resided there.
This wall needed almost nothing else, it could very well go on living integrated within the existing topography and over time become a part of the site, but the invitation had been made and we were to design a house there.
As we set the building down, we sought to reconcile the landscape setting, solar orientation, 4 bedroom typology, surrounding patio, privacy, and also the geometric figure that delimits the building plan, namely a square, which is not a perfect square.
From this figure, a rotation was created promoting the interstice. That is, perched or thrown over the landscape. This is how the building should be.
It is from this exaltation of the senses that we find a space where man can dream and move forward, perhaps in eloquent irony?